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Top Headlines - part 11

Spotify Updates Features to Cater to Mobile Users

Spotify Updates Features to Cater to Mobile Users

BUSINESS

  • Updates make using the service on mobile devices easier
  • Intended to expose users to new music
  • People are increasing using touchscreen devices

Music streaming service Spotify has introduced updated features intended to make using the service on mobile devices easier.

The newest feature, called Touch Preview, along with additional swipe features, are the first Spotify updates made with smartphone users in mind.

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Toyota Forecasts $18 Million in Profit for Fiscal Year

Toyota Forecasts $18 Million in Profit for Fiscal Year

BUSINESS

Toyota Motor Corp., the world’s largest automaker, has revised its full-year profit forecast to $18 billion as a variety of factors boosted company sales in 2014.

Through the fiscal year’s third quarter, which ends in March, the company will make an estimated $14.7 billion, a 13.2% increase from a year ago. During the second quarter, profit grew 14%.

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January Mercedes-Benz Sales Grow 9%

January Mercedes-Benz Sales Grow 9%

BUSINESS

  • Company plans to continue success throughout the year
  • New C-Class sedan to debut this month in Asia
  • Other luxury brands reported January growth

Mercedes-Benz USA reported 24,619 vehicles were sold in January, a record and a 8.9% increase from 2014. If sales of 492 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter Vans are included, then the growth rate was 9%.

MBUSA sells 14 models. In January, the Mercedes C-Class grew 8.5%, the M-Class grew 11.3% while the S-Class increased 22.2%. The model with the largest jump was the GL class, increasing 38%.

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Automakers’ Super Bowl Ads Score Big with Viewers

Automakers’ Super Bowl Ads Score Big with Viewers

BUSINESS

  • AutoTrader, Kelley Blue Book and Edmunds track ads’ success
  • Luxury brands see the largest jump in searches
  • Mainstream brands also seek increase

Nine automakers marketing 11 brands advertised during Feb. 1’s Super Bowl, and it’s the luxury brands which created the most customer buzz.

Auto industry websites AutoTrader, Kelley Blue Book and Edmunds tracked the ads’ success rates. AutoTrader measured search results an hour before and after the game, and KBB measured results one hour before and after the ads aired. Edmunds compared search results to other Sundays.

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Fiat Chrysler Recalls 228,000 Jeep Cherokees

Fiat Chrysler Recalls 228,000 Jeep Cherokees

BUSINESS

Fiat Chrysler has recalled 228,181 Jeep Cherokees over a software issue that makes side airbags inflate without reason.

The recall affects model years 2014 and 2015. The majority of the recalls were in North America: 168,092 Jeeps in the U.S., 19,557 in Canada and 4,133 in Mexico. An additional, 36,399 worldwide were affected.

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Ford Struggles But 2014 Beats Expectations

Ford Struggles But 2014 Beats Expectations

BUSINESS

  • Company hurt by weak market in Europe, South America
  • Sales of latest F-150 pickup expected to increase sales in 2015
  • Ford forecasts profit up to $9.5 billion for 2015

Ford Motor Co., the second-largest U.S. automaker, posted global earnings that beat analysts’ forecasts, but were lower than 2013.

Operating profit for the fourth quarter was $1.1 billion. Revenue was $35.9 billion. Analysts had forecasted revenue of $34.5 billion.

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Fiat Chrysler Reports Successful Full Year Earnings for 2014

Fiat Chrysler Reports Successful Full Year Earnings for 2014

BUSINESS

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV, or FCA, the seventh-largest automaker, reported a successful 2014 as it works to achieve its five-year plan.

Full-year earrings before interest and taxes and excluding one-off items grew 14% compared to 2013, reaching $1.2 billion, and shipments grew 6%, reaching 4.6 million vehicles. The Jeep model had record sales.

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Detroit Auto Show Has Best Attendance in 12 Years

Detroit Auto Show Has Best Attendance in 12 Years

BUSINESS

The North American International Auto Show in Detroit, the largest auto show in North America, had its best attendance in 12 years.

This year attendance reached 808,775, including 102,928 on the final day. Last year’s attendance was 803,451.

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Kia Recalls 87,000 2014 Fortes in U.S. for Fire Hazard

Kia Recalls 87,000 2014 Fortes in U.S. for Fire Hazard

BUSINESS

South Korean auto manufacturer Kia Motors America is recalling 86,880 Kia Fortes in the U.S. because a defect with the cooling unit poses a fire hazard.

The cooling unit resistor can overheat and melt.

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Toyota Top Automaker Again in 2014

Toyota Top Automaker Again in 2014

BUSINESS

  • Volkswagen a close second
  • U.S., Chinese markets seen as areas of growth
  • Toyota forecasts sales to slow in 2015

Japanese automaker Toyota Motor Corp. has maintained the position of top automaker in the world for the third consecutive year.

In 2008, Toyota took over the top spot from General Motors Co., which was number one for 70 years.

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